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Old 08-30-2011, 11:16 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
more money in banks = more being invested and loaned.
This.^^^

There is a reason you get a decent amount of interest on your money market account when you "let your money sit there."

MONEY IS ALWAYS AT WORK*

*unless it's in the government's hands

The bank invests that money, and makes more than they give back to you. We are so good at investing money, and making more money with money, we've attributed a "time-value" to money. This is the whole reason I bought a new car at 0% interest. They are practically paying me to take on the monthly installment. In the meantime I can do many other profitable things with my money.

In the private sector money doesn't ever "just sit there". The exception would be capital stores...which usually increase as a direct result of market scares...which are usually driven by false market forces caused by government intervention.


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Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
Hey guys, I have another math problem.

Why is GM making over 1,000 Volts a month when sales are only barely breaching 100?
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Originally Posted by Chevrolet Volt Tax Incentive
To incentivize the adoption of Electric Vehicles like the Volt, the Federal Government as well as many state governments have programs in place to subsidize the high cost of an electric car like the Volt. In this article, I will discuss in detail eligibility for federal and California subsidies. In addition, depending on your electric utility, you can apply for reduced Electricity Rates during off hours for electric car charging. Feel free to jump in if you know more about your state!

If you are thinking about buying a Chevrolet Volt, your eligibility for the $7500 Federal rebate, as well as a potential $5000 California Rebate will surely have a significant impact on your purchasing decision. Combined this is as much at $12,500 in government incentives on a car that many expect will MSRP for over $40,000. These rebate programs however are not unlimited in their funding.

http://www.mychevroletvolt.com/chevr...es-and-rebates
They plan for sales to pick up as everyone realizes they can get a $40K car for $27K with 0% interest.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:26 AM   #22
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They plan for sales to pick up as everyone realizes they can get a $40K car for $27K with 0% interest.
Okay...

Why does GM think it's smart to continue market, sell and increase production on a $41k car which costs $40K to build that is only selling about 100 a month and dropping?

sources: http://www.mlive.com/auto/index.ssf/...olet_volt.html
http://green.autoblog.com/2011/03/01...ssan-67-leafs/
http://electriccarsreport.com/2011/0...-sold-in-july/
http://nlpc.org/stories/2011/08/02/c...80%9D-comments

This data suggets they only made $125,000 on Volts in the month of July, not very lucritive if you ask me...but I didn't get billions of dollars for free to develop the shitty car.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:27 AM   #23
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Don't get me wrong...I'm not supporting the idea.

I would imagine there is more than the tax incentive for buyers involved as far as government intervention goes...


EDIT: Also note that the $40K to build DOES NOT include development costs...which I'm sure are SUBSTANTIAL.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:30 AM   #24
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What good is a tax break to the consumer for a private company that needs to turn a profit in order to continue to operate?
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:34 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
What good is a tax break to the consumer for a private company that needs to turn a profit in order to continue to operate?
Government Motors developed the Volt in order to secure a government bailout. They were in turn promised large customer encentives to ensure sales.

The sad part is it's actually a really good car, and they're learning to cut costs. Many of the major, expensive components of the Volt, like the battery pack, will likely decrease in cost over the next few years. It's also the first real, useable mainstream electric as far as I'm concerned.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:47 AM   #26
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So gov't intervention is a bunch of baloney?



Acutally, if the volt was a normal car, I'd like it. It acutally looks [litteraly] like a nice sedan. But I'm not paying 40K for a car that doesnt get better gas mileage than a Prius or Elantra.
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:03 PM   #27
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Every time I read this sort of thread I get depressed, seriously. I really think how big of a **** hole this country is going to become in the near future given the government keeps ******* up. I am really a sad panda :(
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:16 PM   #28
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But I'm not paying 40K for a car that doesnt get better gas mileage than a Prius or Elantra.
To be fair, I think that to interpret it in this way misses the point.

The average driver in the US covers 29 miles per day (source.) So for a large majority of Volt owners, it should be necessary to run the gas engine only on very rare occasions. Forget about the EPA equivalents, what's the "real" gasoline economy of such a vehicle? 500 MPG? 1,000?

Granted, electricity isn't free. And the majority of US power generation still burns fossil-fuels. But there are some plusses. Most of those fossil-fuels are domestically produced, rather than imported. And the fact is that it's a lot easier to to install and maintain filtration and carbon-sequestration equipment at a single power plant than on 50,000 cars. Even if Volt consumed 1 kwh/mile (which would put it at around 30 MPGe), that would still be a hell of a lot loss actual pollution in the air.

Would it be better if all (or at least a majority) of our electric generation capacity was "green"? Of course. But even if we don't have nearly enough solar / nuclear / wind plants on-line, it's hard to argue that burning domestic fossil-fuels isn't better than burning imported fossil-fuels.


There's a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem, in that utility companies aren't going to gear up and build new generating stations far in excess of demand, but the hope would be that once enough electric-only or electric-primary cars start plugging in, and demand begins to threaten grid capacity, that we'll start to see new (and hopefully cleaner) production capacity begin to come on-line.


It's a positive first-step. Not a final solution, but a step in the right direction. And it takes a hell of a lot for me to say that about GM.
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:25 PM   #29
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no one is buying into it.
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:30 PM   #30
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Maybe they should just pass a law requiring everyone to buy one.

Worked for healthcare right?
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:41 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Perez View Post
The average driver in the US covers 29 miles per day (source.) So for a large majority of Volt owners, it should be necessary to run the gas engine only on very rare occasions. Forget about the EPA equivalents, what's the "real" gasoline economy of such a vehicle? 500 MPG? 1,000?

Granted, electricity isn't free. [...] Even if Volt consumed 1 kwh/mile (which would put it at around 30 MPGe), that would still be a hell of a lot loss actual pollution in the air.
I just want to know what the actual out of pocket cost is per mile, and how that compares to a conventional but relatively fuel efficient car (say, 35 mpg).

Post-it note calculations:

kWh seems to be just under 9 cents right now (actually $0.086). So if the Volt is consumes 36 kWh per 100 miles per EPA estimates (0.36 kwh/mile), that puts the cost per mile at 3 cents ($0.03/mile).

I can get 87 octane Shell locally for $3.39/gallon. So if I can average 35 mpg from my conventional vehicle, that puts my cost per mile at just under 10 cents ($0.097/mile).

So, unless I totally screwed that up, if your daily routine can be completed within the Volt's all-electric range, your fuel costs would be roughly 1/3 of a conventional 35 mpg vehicle at current fuel prices.
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Old 08-30-2011, 12:53 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by gospeed81 View Post
Maybe they should just pass a law requiring everyone to buy one.

Worked for healthcare right?
Maybe I can get a waiver?



finally a cost comparison...I've been looking for one of them. But I've heard that the volt isn't getting close to the range that they say and in regular gas mode they dont do great. Im also glad Joe realizes that moving your reliance from one fossil fuel to another isn't green.


found htis interesting read:

Quote:
How much will this cost me over a month of driving?

It depends. And, in particular, I have no time-of-day metering or special deal with my electric utility for off-peak charging, so my Volt use is included with the rest of my home electricity.

Checking my monthly bill, I see that electric rates have tiers. For instance, the Tier 1 cost is 12/kWh; Tier 2 is 14/kWh, up to Tier 5 at 31/kWh. That is, the more electricity I use, the more costly per kWh at each successive tier.

The Chevy Volt has a 16-kWh battery pack, but for reasons of durability, in actuality it exploits only a percentage of this. In fact, it uses 8 kWh in its 40 miles per day. Thus, my Volt adds around 240 kWh per month to my home electric bill.

Now here's the grabber.

Suppose my current home usage is 400 kWh/month, frugally well within my Tier 1 allowance of 462 kWh/month. The Volt bumps me to 640 kWh, the added 178 kWh figured at Tier 2's 14/kWh (not Tier 1's 12/kWh). Tier 1's Volt cost for 62 kWh is $7.44. The other 178 kWh at Tier 2's rate is $24.92. The total, $32.66; and hence my 1200 miles (40 per day) works out to 2.7/mile.

Instead, suppose my home has an electric dryer, plasma TV, home theater, air conditioning, swimming pool heating, the works. That is, suppose I'm already into Tier 5 usage (these days, not an absurd assumption). Then all of the car's added 240 kWh comes at 31/kWh or an additional monthly cost of $74.40. Hence, its 1200 miles works out to 6.2/mile, more than twice the frugal electric user's rate.

By contrast, a Toyota Prius's 48 mpg of traditional gasoline works out to around 6/mile.

Maybe I should consider a solar panel on my roof or a windmill in my backyard. Or a Toyota Prius.

Note: This item has been amended based on definitive information from Chevrolet that its battery "window of operation" is 8 kWh, not the 11-kWh estimate in the original posting. Also, Chevrolet says a home 110-volt 15-amp line will replenish this 8 kWh in "under 8 hours.
I'd still have to only charge that baby once a week. So maybe $10 a month in electricty...but $41,000 - $7,000 / 32 months equals one hell of a large car note.

Last edited by Braineack; 08-30-2011 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:20 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack
more money in banks = more being invested and loaned.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gospeed81 View Post
This.^^^

The bank invests that money, and makes more than they give back to you. We are so good at investing money, and making more money with money, we've attributed a "time-value" to money.
This right there demonstrates one of the fundamental errors in Keynesian economics, which gov't subscribes to. They believe that not spending money and putting it in banks, = bad for the economy.

Additionally:

When the gov't goes into deficit spending during a recession, it borrows the money. Investors (e.g. investment banks), will lend to the gov't, instead of the private sector. The private sector is starved of capital, capital which would have been used to invest to expand business and hire employees.

So the net effect is gov't does the spending, instead of businesses in order to expand. This prolongs the recession. (Additionally gov't attempts to prop up the prices of sectors that bubbled up e.g. housing, whose price correction is the first step in recovery)

This is called the capital crowding out effect


Keynesianism believes:
- gov't spending is good
- gov't deficit spending is good
- gov't is wiser in spending money than investors whose own money is on the line
- debt is good
- deficits don't matter
- consumer spending is of prime importance (a violation of Say's Law)
- central control of the economy by central banking is good
- paper money inflation is good
- "stimulus" spending is good (Keynes himself said burying newly printed money in a hillside and hiring diggers will stimulate the economy)


Consider that Keynesian economics says "gov't should spend more" while Austrian school economics says "gov't should cut spending". Consider that Keynesians say "central banking is good" and that central banks give governments a blank check funded with newly printed money. And that the Federal Reserve has supplied the vast majority of economic school and research grants in the last century.

Is it any wonder we're overrun by Keynesians?


Austrian School Economics debunks all of the above:
http://www.tomwoods.com/learn-austrian-economics/
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:34 PM   #34
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Scott,

We could run the math all day...but it varies by usage, regional electricity costs, and several other factors. Heck, my "cost/mile" vehicle cost calc takes EVERYTHING into account including tires, oil, insurance, the works. I did this once to justify buying a motorcycle (just barely), and can tell you that the actual cost/mile of operating a newer vehicle is about tenfold the actual fuel cost, so savings there are paltry to the average consumer, regardless of what the media would have us believe.

That said....think economies of scale.

The same holds true with power generation. We can generate power much more efficiently with central stations than with individual internal combustion engines. I hate to promote the death of the ICE...but delivering the same power with electricity produces far is simply more efficient, and thus cheaper, period. I don't care about greenhouse gases, or mpg, or the current grid problems. It is more efficient.

Grid problems will be market driven to solutions.

Besides the cost of oil, there are countless other applications for petroleum that we will likely miss much more than a cheap power source, and should conserve it for posterity. Plastics, chemicals etc will affect the average consumer much more than their gas bill when the wells go dry. This is why -I- care.

The Volt may be a subsidized flop today...but I honestly commend the effort. The technology, improved over the next decade, will result in the cars that our grandchildren drive that don't rely as heavily on fossil fuels.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:41 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
more money in banks = more being invested and loaned.
Does it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonC SBB View Post
When the gov't goes into deficit spending during a recession, it borrows the money. Investors (e.g. investment banks), will lend to the gov't, instead of the private sector. The private sector is starved of capital, capital which would have been used to invest to expand business and hire employees.

So the net effect is gov't does the spending, instead of businesses in order to expand. This prolongs the recession. (Additionally gov't attempts to prop up the prices of sectors that bubbled up e.g. housing, whose price correction is the first step in recovery)

This is called the capital crowding out effect
I am no expert on monetary policy or the monetary system. I mean, I probably have a stronger grasp of it than a good 75% of Americans, but it's still a bit arcane to me.

That said, I am beginning to think that your premise above is over-simplified and somewhat out-dated. More specifically, that it may not apply to all types of recessions.
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Old 08-30-2011, 04:57 PM   #36
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Does it?
It works better than taking the $50 I saved to buy a new a/c compressor for my prelude and giving it to something else so he can buy $50 in groceries.

The money the useds parts dealer was going to make from me, got spent elsewhere.

Money in a bank is working: being loaned (to create businesses and jobs), being invested (CDs, Bonds), creating interest. Hell banks are jobs too, it is just another business...


When the Government tells banks they have to provide mortgage-backed secutries to subprime borrowers instead of using due dilligence to protect their business is when things fail. See: Community Redevelopment Act
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:03 PM   #37
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:09 PM   #38
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That said, I am beginning to think that your premise above is over-simplified and somewhat out-dated. More specifically, that it may not apply to all types of recessions.
Governments' deficits are funded by debt. That's what Treasury bonds are, IOU's.

During recessions investors invest in Treasury debt because they are perceived as "safe". Otherwise they would find other places to invest, such as corporate bonds. Corporations that sell bonds would use the money to invest and grow their biz.

Recessions these days are caused by the popping of credit-fueled bubbles. The housing market is the most recent. Housing prices bubbled because the gov't and the FED made credit cheap (the FED created the money out of nothing). So 3 guys bidding on the same house, all funded by newly created money.

So of course prices bubbled. It encouraged mal-investment - e.g. builders built more houses. They were bad investments because the demand was fake, created by cheap credit. The bubble popped because the prices were unsustainable. The recession, in the absence of gov't intervention, would force market clearing. That is where the prices of overpriced goods would drop enough for demand to match supply, and for businesses with bad business models to go bankrupt, so that sounder businesses can buy up their sound assets at bankruptcy auctions.

Instead, the government is trying to prop up housing prices and it bailed out politically connected investment banks that the free market tried to kill. The government is subsidizing economic inefficiency.

In the absence of government intervention, recessions tend to be short lived. The 1920 recession ended quickly because the Federal Reserve and the government did not intervene.

The idea that stimulus is necessary, and that consumer spending reigns supreme, is part of Keynesian mythology.
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:39 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
more money in banks = more being invested and loaned.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack View Post
It works better than taking the $50 I saved to buy a new a/c compressor for my prelude and giving it to something else so he can buy $50 in groceries.

The money the useds parts dealer was going to make from me, got spent elsewhere.

Money in a bank is working: being loaned (to create businesses and jobs), being invested (CDs, Bonds), creating interest. Hell banks are jobs too, it is just another business...
A) Why is money in the bank better than money in the sales ledger of the used parts dealer?

B) I am not sure that banks need your money to fund new loan growth. That seems to imply that banks need reserves before creating new loans and I do not think that is accurate. I might argue that banks are not reserve constrained but demand constrained at this stage (and possibly in all stages).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Braineack
When the Government tells banks they have to provide mortgage-backed secutries to subprime borrowers instead of using due dilligence to protect their business is when things fail. See: Community Redevelopment Act
You muddled some of your terminology there and I would argue are giving undue emphasis to one (of many) causes of recent credit issues and not enough emphasis to others.

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Originally Posted by JasonC SBB View Post
The recession, in the absence of gov't intervention, would force market clearing. That is where the prices of overpriced goods would drop enough for demand to match supply, and for businesses with bad business models to go bankrupt, so that sounder businesses can buy up their sound assets at bankruptcy auctions.
First - I think I am in agreement that Greenspan's Fed policy was a primary (but far from only) cause of the "housing/credit bubble."

I get that the above is a text book scenario and I would not dispute its efficacy in the real world in many situations. However, I am not 100% sure how this total hands-off approach would have worked in 2008.

Because of the complete opacity of the inter-connectedness of the global banking system (nominal and "shadow"), if all of the major impaired parties had marked frozen assets (including their derivatives books) to market [frozen = no market = $0 value] and become insolvent and then failed (went bankrupt, out of business), I believe the ensuing chaos would have made for a great post-apocalyptic movie script.

Even sound and conservative financials could have been dragged to their "death" as panic and lack of faith in counter-parties led to a prolonged shutdown of lending and a general populace run on the banks. The FDIC would not have had enough funding to pay out in cash all of the on-time demands.

Money market mutual funds could have been decimated, truly wiping out trillions in assets (real losses, not short-term "paper" losses). They are large buyers of short-term paper.

Without access to normal operating credit and funding, businesses large and small that were otherwise unconnected could have been wiped out. Between those, financial services and home building (and related fields), the numbers could have been staggering.

I am honestly not sure what would have happened to home values. They probably would have dropped even more as unemployment went higher and bankruptcy workouts took long enough that a much larger percentage of people opted for strategic defaults.


I initially was very drawn to the Austrian school but the deeper my knowledge base goes, the more I think the mainstream economic schools of thought are more philosophies or ideologies that seem based on oversimplified text-book scenarios that may not be suitable to the current world we live in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonC SBB View Post
The idea that stimulus is necessary, and that consumer spending reigns supreme, is part of Keynesian mythology.
To be clear, I am not really what would properly be described as a Keynesian (or post-Keynesian or Neo Keynesian or any-kind-of-Keynesian).


[Edit: Full disclosure - I work for a very conservative financial institution that had zero sub-prime exposure in its bank, zero Lehman exposure in its money market mutual fund and zero exposure to Bernie Madoff in its alternative investments desk and I am not sure our firm would not have gotten washed out with the flood if there was no government intervention in 2008.]
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:42 PM   #40
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I'm going to go out on a limb here when I say this:

Given "perfect information", it is impossible for free market to fail.

Perfect information: means that all consumers know all things, about all products, at all times (including knowing the probabilistic outcome of all future events) , and therefore always make the best decision regarding purchase. In competitive markets, perfect competition does not require that agents have complete knowledge about the actions of others; all relevant information is reflected in prices.

There is no scenario that you can create in which a free market economy would not immediately resolve. The only thing that the Government can do to positively influence the free market is to pursue "perfect information". The Government may also distribute responsibility for its owned finite resources, but the distribution of those resources must be auctioned to the free market.

Example of auction of finite resources: Oil is discovered under sovereign US ocean. Government auctions the oil to the free market. The *winner* of the auction is the company which submits the lowest cost-per-barrel. That *cost-per-barrel* is what the US Government pays the private company to extract the oil owned by the US Government. Since this is a perfect information economy, the winner makes very little profit on the oil it extracts. All additional profits are payable to the owners of the oil: A.K.A. the USG. Since the USG is "of the people, by the people, and for the people", what this really means is that all of the profits derived from oil are distributed directly to the people (or rather, deducted from income taxes in an amount directly proportionate with amount of tax paid)

Similar auctioned systems must also be in place for things like radio frequencies.
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